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Marketing automation has seen heavy adoption by companies worldwide. In a global CleverTouch survey [download page] of some 200 respondents, 8 in 10 report already having marketing automation in place, while the remaining respondents say they are interested in bringing marketing automation into their business.

Part of the drive towards adopting such technology is that marketers are getting better at measuring ROI. Not only that, marketing automation specifically is helping to deliver on ROI for some 79% of companies, often in a relatively short amount of time. This research also paints a positive picture, with almost half (48%) of survey respondents saying they are always able to show campaign ROI as a result of their marketing automation investment, with another 42% saying they are able to show ROI sometimes. Only 11% are not able to show campaign ROI as a result of their marketing automation investment. Enterprise businesses also appear to have more success, with 86% saying they can always report campaign ROI, compared to 27% of smaller businesses.

For those companies who do not currently have a marketing automation system, just 35% were always able to prove ROI of their marketing activities. The majority (58%) of those respondents did say that they could sometimes prove ROI, and the remaining 8% report being unable to do so at all.

Proving ROI Still Has Barriers

Despite its reported success, marketing automation isn’t an easy panacea for measurement. When asked what were the biggest barriers to proving the ROI of marketing activities, more than half (55%) of respondents named a lack of closed loop reporting as one such barrier. Another barrier named by half (50%) of respondents was poor reporting and accountability. These issues can be aggravated by poorly-configured marketing automation systems.

Lack of resources and skills, along with sales and marketing misalignment, were both considered barriers by 40% of respondents, while one-quarter felt that lack of opportunity management in CRM acted as barriers to reporting ROI of their marketing efforts.

What Are the Benefits of Marketing Automation?

Despite there being barriers to proving ROI of marketing activity, being able to prove ROI was one of the many stated benefits of implementing marketing automation.

With B2B marketers in the US stating that delivering quality leads is an important objective but also a difficult one to achieve, it is encouraging to see that one of the benefits to marketing automation is that marketing has generated more sales leads. Not only is lead generation a benefit of marketing automation, but being about to generate better quality leads also made it on the list.

Last year, US organizations reported believing that one-third of their customer and prospect data was inaccurate. In addition, compliance with data regulations such as GDPR continues to be a struggle. Marketing automation has helped relieve data quality and compliance complications as respondents listed improved data quality and compliance one of their top benefits.

Other benefits named in the survey include faster lead conversion and sales cycles, closer alignment between marketing and sales, and improvement in customer engagement.

About the Data: The results are based on data collected from a survey of 250 heads of marketing, marketing directors and CMOs working in companies with 250+ employees. One-quarter of participants were from the US, another one-quarter from the UK and half from EMEA.

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